Saturday, March 24, 2007

Obama's press secretary lived with "Hillary 1984" ad creator

The creator of the anti-Clinton ad lived with Obama's press secretary:

The press secretary for Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., recently lived with the creator of the scathingly satirical YouTube video ad that attacked Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., a revelation that seems to undermine the senator's claim that he and his campaign had only "very attenuated" ties with the ad's creator.

Ben LaBolt, the recently named press of Obama's Senate office in Washington, D.C., roomed with Philip de Vellis, the creator of the "1984" ad, in Ohio last year while the two worked together on the successful Senate campaign of then Rep. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.

The relationship does not serve as evidence that anyone on the Obama campaign knew de Villis had made the ad. The Obama campaign and its employees have said they have no knowledge of and had nothing to do with the creation of the ad, and de Villis has written as much on a blog.

But it does seem to belie statements by Obama and the campaign that implied a much more distant relationship between Obama's campaign and de Villis.


Wednesday evening the Obama campaign issued a statement saying, "The Obama campaign and its employees had no knowledge and had nothing to do with the creation of the ad."


And when asked by ABC News if he knew de Villis — since they had both worked on the Brown for Senate campaign in 2006 — LaBolt said, "I knew everyone who worked on the Brown campaign" but implied that he didn't know de Villis well at all.

But Friday afternoon the liberal blog posted a photograph showing LaBolt and de Vellis relaxing with a mutual friend in Ohio last year.

This controversy is so silly, it's just a stupid ad. I think that Clinton is handling this in the right way:
Clinton herself has not publicly expressed any outrage at the controversy, saying instead, "I was a little bit tickled that it took attention away from my singing on Youtube," referring to a video of her off-key rendition of the national anthem. "So for that it was something of a positive development."